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About

Education is at the heart of everything we do at the Barnes Foundation.

Executive Staff

Thomas Collins

Neubauer Family Executive Director and President

An innovative educator and accomplished art historian, administrator, and author, Thom Collins, a Philadelphia native, has more than 20 years of experience at some of America’s top arts institutions, including the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM); the Neuberger Museum of Art in Purchase, New York; the Contemporary Museum in Baltimore; the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati; the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle; and the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Collins earned his MA in art history from Northwestern University and his BA with honors in art history and the history of religion from Swarthmore College. He serves on the Board of Trustees at Swarthmore College and is a member of the Association of Art Museum Directors, the Association of Art Museum Curators, and the College Art Association.

Margaret (Peg) Zminda

Executive Vice President, CFO, and COO

Peg Zminda is responsible for Finance, Facilities, and Information Technology functional areas and has oversight for earned revenue and marketing operations. She holds an MBA from the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business and a BS in accounting from St. Joseph’s University.

Nina Diefenbach

Senior Vice President, Deputy Director for Advancement

Nina Diefenbach leads an innovative, strategic advancement program and is responsible for a $100 million capital campaign to enhance educational programs and community engagement initiatives, support operations, and strengthen the endowment. She oversees the fundraising, membership, and public relations teams, working to maximize and expand the institution’s public profile. She holds an MA in arts management from New York University and a BA from Trinity College.

Will Cary

Chief of Business Strategy and Analytics

Will Cary oversees all earned revenue functions, including admissions, ticketing, special events, retail, group sales, food service and catering, as well as the marketing team and organizational analytics. In addition, he plays a leadership role in the Barnes’s internal Culture Action Team (CAT). He holds a BA in art history and economics from Williams College and is a graduate of the Museum Leadership Institute.

Valerie V. Gay, CFP

Deputy Director for Audience Engagement & Chief Experience Officer

Valerie Gay oversees public and community programs and the Guest and Protection Services team. She plays a leading role in growing and sustaining the Barnes’s relationship with audiences in the Philadelphia region and embedding visitor-centered thinking into every aspect of the institution. She earned a bachelor's of music in voice performance from the University of the Arts, and a master's of music in vocal performance and a professional studies certificate from Temple University’s Boyer College of Music and Dance.

Sara Geelan, Esq.

Deputy Director, General Counsel, and Assistant Secretary

Sara Geelan oversees all legal matters for the Barnes Foundation, ensuring compliance with laws and regulations, as well as contractual obligations and ethical standards. She coordinates governance issues for the Board of Trustees and its committees; is responsible for the risk-management program and insurance portfolio; and has administrative oversight of the human resources area. She holds a JD from Columbia University School of Law and a BA from Johns Hopkins University.

Nancy Ireson, PhD

Deputy Director for Collections and Exhibitions & Gund Family Chief Curator

An art historian by training, with a doctorate from the Courtauld Institute of Art, Nancy Ireson is a specialist in late 19th- and early 20th-century European art. At the Barnes Foundation, she manages the teams who care for the permanent collection and who devise and deliver exhibitions, including Curatorial, Conservation, and Registration. The Publications and Design teams are also in her division.

Martha Lucy, PhD

Deputy Director for Research, Interpretation and Education

Martha Lucy oversees the Barnes Foundation’s research efforts, working with colleagues across departments to produce new knowledge about the permanent collection and the institution’s history. She also leads all educational endeavors—including adult classes, academic programs, pre-K–12 programs, Art Team, docents, and archives. An art historian specializing in 19th-century French art, she holds a PhD from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts.

Sheronda Whitaker, MS, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

Chief Human Resources and Diversity Officer

Sheronda Whitaker leads the Human Resources department and is responsible for the design and execution of effective strategies to fulfill the Barnes Foundation’s long-standing commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. She collaborates with departments across the institution to ensure the Barnes provides an environment that is welcoming, supportive, and inclusive for all staff, volunteers, visitors, and students. She holds an MS from Villanova University in human resource development and a BS from the University of Louisville.

Board of Trustees

Aileen Roberts

Chair

Aileen Roberts is a philanthropist and civic leader in Philadelphia. For more than 20 years, she has advocated for organizations dedicated to arts and culture, education, health care, and conservation—including as president of the Aileen K. and Brian L. Roberts Foundation, where she supports initiatives that address equity in education. She has been a member of the Barnes Foundation's Board of the Trustees since 2005 and served as Chair of the facilities and planning committee; she was elected to serve as Chair of the Board in 2020. Ms. Roberts has also served on the boards of the Franklin Institute, the Avenue of the Arts, the International House, William Penn Charter School, and Sheriff's Meadow Foundation in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.

Chair, Executive and Strategic Plan Steering Committees

Stephen J. Harmelin, Esq.

Treasurer

Stephen J. Harmelin is an attorney with over 50 years of experience in corporate law, securities, and financial transactions who previously served as managing partner at Dilworth Paxson, LLP, representing various governmental and nonprofit entities. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Law School, Mr. Harmelin has been consistently chosen by a survey of his fellow lawyers to be included in the Best Lawyers in America. He is engaged in various civic and charitable activities in Philadelphia, including his service on the Board of the Barnes Foundation, as well as on those of the Atlantic Legal Foundation, the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, and the Philadelphia Inquirer. Mr. Harmelin has held the position of Treasurer on the Barnes Foundation’s Board since 2004.

The Honorable Jacqueline F. Allen

Secretary

Jacqueline F. Allen has served as a judge of the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas for more than 25 years. Throughout her distinguished career, Judge Allen has served the Philadelphia community through several civic and charitable organizations, including the Barnes Foundation, to which she was elected a Trustee, and Secretary of the Board, in 2002. Judge Allen also serves as chair of the Scholarship Committee of the National Bar Association Women Lawyers Division, Philadelphia Chapter, and is on the board of the Presbyterian Community Ministries of the Delaware Valley. Judge Allen is a graduate of Lincoln University and Temple University Beasley School of Law.

Chair, Nominating and Governance Committee

John J. Aglialoro

John J. Aglialoro was born in Philadelphia and graduated from Temple University. He is an entrepreneur who has owned and operated a variety of public and private businesses throughout the US for over 40 years. He currently serves as chairman and cofounder of UM Holdings Ltd. of Haddonfield, New Jersey, which included Cybex International and EHE International, and is the former mayor of Tavistock Borough in Tavistock, New Jersey. Mr. Aglialoro was elected to the Barnes Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 2014, and also serves on the boards of the Atlas Society and the Museum of the American Revolution.

John R. Alchin

John R. Alchin retired as Executive Vice President and Co-Chief Financial Officer at Comcast Corporation in 2008. Before joining Comcast in 1990, Mr. Alchin was Managing Director of Toronto Dominion Bank, and was active in the founding of the bank’s US Communications Finance Group in 1980. Mr. Alchin was elected to the Barnes Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 2017. He also serves as a member of the board of directors of Ralph Lauren Corporation and is a trustee on the boards of BNY Mellon Funds Trust and the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Armando I. Bengochea, PhD

Armando I. Bengochea is Senior Program Officer for Higher Learning and Director of the Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellowship Program at the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Previously an academic dean at Brown University and Connecticut College, Dr. Bengochea helps oversee Mellon’s higher education grantmaking for faculty development, curricular enhancement and innovation, undergraduate research, and other purposes that improve access to scholarly and other humanities careers. Previously, he headed the Mellon Foundation’s grantmaking program in diversity. Dr. Bengochea was elected to the Barnes Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 2019. He is also a trustee of Colby College in Waterville, Maine, where he chairs the principal board committee for faculty and student affairs.

Sheldon M. Bonovitz, Esq.

Sheldon M. Bonovitz is Chairman Emeritus of Duane Morris LLP, having stepped down as Chairman in 2008 to resume full-time practice. During his tenure as Chairman, Mr. Bonovitz led the firm from a regional to a national and international platform. Mr. Bonovitz chairs the Fund for the School District of Philadelphia. He was elected to the Barnes Foundation's Board in 2005, and also serves as a trustee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation, and the Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation. Mr. Bonovitz is a Trustee Emeritus of the Curtis Institute of Music and of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He was also a long-standing member of the board of the Free Library Foundation. Mr. Bonovitz and his wife, Jill, are avid art collectors. They have made major gifts of art to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, which were shown in three different exhibitions there. Their gift of American outsider art was shown in the 2013 exhibition Great and Mighty Things: Outsider Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection. Jill Bonovitz is an acclaimed ceramist and wire sculptor with works in museums throughout the world.

Chair, Finance & Audit and Investment Committees

Pamela D. Bundy

Pamela D. Bundy is the founder, president, and CEO of Bundy Development Corporation, an urban real estate development firm in Washington, DC. An entrepreneur and former real estate appraiser, she graduated from Lincoln University and currently serves on the board of directors of Lincoln University Foundation of Pennsylvania and the Board of Advisors of the Lowe Economic Development Corporation. Ms. Bundy is also an appointed board member of the Executive Committee of the District of Columbia Building Industry Association. Elected to the Barnes Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 2016, Ms. Bundy is also a Trustee Co-Chair of the Barnes Ambassadors Board.

Jeffrey A. Honickman

Jeffrey A. Honickman is a principal of The Honickman Companies, which includes Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of New York, Pepsi-Cola & National Brand Beverages, Ltd., Canada Dry Delaware Valley Bottling Company, and Canada Dry Potomac Corporation. Mr. Honickman currently serves on the board of directors of Comcast Corporation and as a director of the American Beverage Association and the 7-UP Bottlers Association. Additionally, Mr. Honickman serves on the Advisory Council of the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. He was elected to the Barnes Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 2019.

Cathy Hughes

Cathy Hughes is an entrepreneur, radio and television personality, and business executive who founded the media company Radio One—now Urban One—in 1980. When the company went public in 1999, Ms. Hughes became the first African American woman to head a publicly traded corporation. Urban One has become an urban radio market leader with more than 60 stations across the country comprising hip-hop, R&B, gospel, and talk radio formats. Ms. Hughes’s philanthropy, dedicated to empowering minority communities, includes support of the Piney Woods School in Piney Woods, Mississippi, and service on the Board of Trustees at Creighton University in Omaha. Ms. Hughes was elected to the Barnes Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 2014.

John H. McFadden, Esq.

John H. McFadden is founder of and partner at international law firm McFadden, Pilkington & Ward LLP. A graduate of Harvard University (BA), Columbia University (MBA), and Fordham University (JD), Mr. McFadden has practiced law since 1978. Active with various cultural organizations in Greater Philadelphia, Mr. McFadden serves on the boards of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Academy of Music, and the Curtis Institute of Music. Mr. McFadden also serves as a Director of the Easton Coach Company and the Ongava Game Reserve in Namibia, Africa. He was elected to the Barnes Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 2018.

Joseph Neubauer

Joseph Neubauer was Chairman of the Board of Aramark Corporation, a leading global provider of professional services including food, hospitality, facility, and uniform services from 1984 until 2015. Mr. Neubauer is Chairman of the University of Chicago’s Board of Trustees and Chairman of the Philadelphia Academy of School Leaders. He was formerly a Director of Mondelez International, Verizon Communications, Macy’s, Inc., and Tufts University. Mr. Neubauer was elected to the Board of Trustees at the Barnes Foundation in 2005 and served as Chair from 2015 through 2020; he continues to serve as a Trustee and as Chair of the Barnes’s Second Century Campaign. Recognized throughout his career for civic and professional achievements, Mr. Neubauer received the prestigious Philadelphia Award in 2012 for his civic involvement and the William Penn Award in 2013, which is the highest honor bestowed upon a businessperson in the greater Philadelphia business community.

Chair, Advancement Committee

Christine Poggi, PhD

Christine Poggi is the Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director of the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. Before joining NYU in 2017, she taught for 30 years in the History of Art Department at the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Poggi is a published writer and author, and is currently working on a book addressing the nexus of immigration, border crossing, mapping, and labor in contemporary performance, photography, and film. She was elected to the Barnes Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 2018 and serves as Chair of the Program Committee.

Chair, Program Committee

Brenda A. Thompson, PhD

Brenda A. Thompson is an art collector and retired psychologist. She received a PhD in clinical psychology from Saint Louis University in 1980. She was an assistant professor at Morehouse College in the Department of Psychology before working as a clinical psychologist and school psychologist. Dr. Thompson and her husband, Larry D. Thompson (a member of the Barnes National Ambassadors Board), have been collecting works by African American artists since 1980. They have donated works to several museums, most notably the Georgia Museum of Art, where they also endowed a curatorial position in their name. She is a past chair of the Georgia Museum of Art’s Board of Advisors. Elected to the Barnes Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 2007, Dr. Thompson is also Trustee Co-Chair of the Barnes’s Ambassadors Board.

Chair Emeritus

  • Bernard C. Watson, PhD

Emeritus Trustees

  • Stephanie Bell-Rose

  • Bruce S. Gordon

  • Agnes Gund

  • Neil L. Rudenstine, PhD

Honorary Trustees

  • Wallis Annenberg

  • Laura T. Buck

  • Tory Burch

  • Betsy Z. Cohen

  • David Haas

  • Anne F. Hamilton

  • Marguerite Lenfest

  • James J. Maguire

  • William A. Slaughter, Esq.

  • Joan Thalheimer

  • Bruce E. Toll

  • A. Morris Williams, Jr.